Havana sees the US decision to expel two employees of the Cuban mission to the United Nations as an unjustified move meant to foment a wider diplomatic scandal and further stoke tensions between the two countries, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said
BUENOS AIRES (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2019) Havana sees the US decision to expel two employees of the Cuban mission to the United Nations as an unjustified move meant to foment a wider diplomatic scandal and further stoke tensions between the two countries, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said.
On Thursday, the Department of State demanded the "imminent departure" of two Cuban diplomats for "abusing their privileges of residence" and "attempts to conduct influence operations against the United States." Washington also restricted travel of all Cuban mission employees to the island of Manhattan, which is home to the UN headquarters.
"I strongly reject unjustified expulsion of 2 officials from Permanent Mission of #Cuba to the #UN & increased restrictions of movement imposed on our diplomats & their families. Allegations that they engaged in actions incompatible with their diplomatic status is a gross slander," Rodriguez wrote on Twitter late on Thursday.
He warned that the US move might have far-reaching consequences.
"Expulsion of 2 diplomats ... are intended to cause an escalation that may lead to the shutting down of both embassies, to further tighten the blockade and create tensions between both countries," the minister added.
Havana has been under US trade embargo since the 1962 Cuban Revolution, which toppled the US-backed government of Fulgencio Batista.
In 2015, then-US President Barack Obama announced the decision to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba and reopen embassies in both countries. Obama also relaxed the trade embargo and eliminated some restrictions on travel, money transfers and naval regulations.
In June 2017, President Donald Trump reversed the policy of his predecessor and abandoned attempts to normalize relations with Havana. Most recently, last Friday, he signed an executive order to prolong the trade embargo on Cuba for one more year.